A few quick notes to start your Tuesday...
- The Cubs have hired sabermetric guru Tom Tango to do exclusive work for them. Tango (a psuedonym), is an innovative statistician who has come up with such now commonly used statistics such as FIP and wOBA, two stats which we use here at Cubs Den frequently. He published "The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball", which I own. In fact, I used his theories to write my series on the Cubs lineup construction last season. Obviously I'm big fan and, even if you haven't heard of him, you've certainly been exposed to his work if you've been a regular reader here at Cubs Den.
- The Cubs are hiring, by the way. It's for Director of Research and Development in their Baseball Operations Department. Here are the qualifications.
- There's lots of buzz down in Miami about a PED clinic that is supplying drugs to some of the biggest names in sports. Among them are Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, and Yasmani Grandal. The report also mentions 21 game winner Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz. Some twitter speculation has already started among Cubs fans with regard to Cruz. If they were to lose him, that would be the second big power bat they lost this offseason (Josh Hamilton earlier). Could that motivate them to consider Alfonso Soriano as a backup plan? It's likely too early for that now, but it's interesting to note that both Nick Cafardo and Carrie Muskat both mentioned Texas as a possible suitor for Soriano recently.
- Another former Cubs SS prospect will now try to win a ring with the Cardinals. Ronny Cedeno signed to a 1 yr/1.15M deal with the chance to make $850K more in incentives. He'll likely be their utility guy but could get significant playing time if Rafael Furcal isn't ready or gets hurt again during the season.
- For the Bourn-again segment out there, the CF has met with the Mets, who are still reluctant to part with a first round pick. For his part, Michael Bourn still wants a 5 year/$75M deal, though he said he'd be open to an opt-out clause. In case anyone was wondering whether Scott Boras was ready to accept a pillow deal, that certainly doesn't appear to be the case. At least not yet. He's still negotiating as if he holds all the cards. As all of you know I'm not a fan of signing Bourn, but I'm finding this negotiation process fascinating. I'm interested to see how this shakes out and how it will affect the CBA going forward.
- The Phillies signed Yuniesky Betancourt, in case there were any lingering fears he might somehow stumble on to the Cubs roster.
- The deal for Scott Hairston, according to Jon Heyman, is for $5M over 2 years. He has a chance to make $1M more in incentives. Hard not to like at that price.
- I'm getting some great stuff from you in emails in terms of questions and topic ideas. If you have any you like to share, please comment and I'll do another mailbag in the next 2 days.
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